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A Close Shave
The Philips Shaver Series 9000 comes in two versions. The 59211/12 model, which is the subject matter of this review, consists of the Shaver 9000 unit, a SmartClick Precision Trimmer, semi rigid zipped Travel pouch and a power lead with a standard two-pin plug. The Series 9000 also features the 59211/26 model which adds a SmartClean Plus system. This element has the capability to clean, lubricate, dry and charge the shaver’s internal battery. This additional item adds £60 to the overall cost of the product.
As with earlier Philips Shaver devices, the Series 9000 range features three ContourDetect heads that can adapt to the user’s face during the shaving process. These heads are capable of 8-directional movement allowing the Shaver to follow every contour, nook and cranny of the face and neck. This will reduce the need for the shaver to indulge in facial contortions that have been known to occur during shaving sessions involving the use of heads that were not as flexile.
While the flexibility of the triple head arrangement can bring the Shaver onto contact with the facial and neck areas with minimum input from the user, the actual cutting process is carried out by the Shaver’s arrangement of blades. This Series 9000 product makes use of unique V-Track PRO blades that have been developed to combine a comfortable shaving experience with a close cutting delivered exercise. This technology has its seeds of development following feedback gleaned from users.
The V-Track Pro blades set out to deliver a better shaving experience by the gentle positioning of the targeted facial hairs so that they are in the optimum angle for removal whatever their length, direction or thickness. Following on from tests conducted on one-day and three-day beard growth, Philips believes that the V-Track Pro blades system can achieve a 30% closer shaving experience when judged against other high end leading electric shavers. Based on my recent shaves using the Series 9000 unit, I am not going to argue with this claim.
Along with the V-Track PRO blades and unique 8-directional ContourDetect triple heads, the Series 9000 Shaver has a feature known as SmartClick Technology. This technology allows you to quickly change the functionality of the Shaver 9000 as you switch from a shaving to trimming device. A quick tug at the resident head will release it from the body of the unit and it can then be replaced by the other head whether it is used for shaving or trimming facial statements such as sideburns, a moustache or even a goatee beard. The change-over process is quick and simple with the only drawback being that you are limited currently to either / or of shaver or trimmer making up this package.
The Series 9000 Shaver features a 100% Aquatic Wet & Dry seal which means this device is waterproof. It can be used for a wet shave with either gel or foam. I am more of a fan of the traditional dry share with such a device but can appreciate that offers will find this dual mode useful. The Shaver can be cleaned by rinsing it under a tap which might be preferable as no small cleaning brush is provided. Unlike an earlier Philip s Shaver, where the individual covers of its three heads could be flipped up individually, the Series 9000 covers need to be totally detached as one unit. I found that this was a less convenient method when it came to cleaning out by unwanted facial hair that was collected within the heads.
Built into the Shaver unit is a lithium-ion battery pack. This battery is capable of delivering 50 minutes of power from a one-hour charge. Philips reckon you should get around 17 shaves from a single charge. I generally fall short of this figure with my shaves requiring over four minutes rather than the three minutes that Philips estimate.
When charging this Shaver, the connection socket is located at the base of its handle with the supplied lead only fitting one way round. While charging is taking place, three strips will appear on the front of the device and these will fade once charging is complete. As no mounting stand is provided, whether of the charging or just stand variety, I found that I needed to lay the Shaver flat on a free surface which was not very convenient when checking the charging process. I certainly missed the presence of a stand for the device.
You do get a semi rigid Travel pouch. While this pouch can easily accommodate the Shaver unit within its confines, I was unable to fit the Shaver and power lead together which tended to negate the power of the Travel pouch especially for longer trips which would require charging to occur at some point. When using the Travel pouch it would be sensible to put the Shaver into lock-down mode so that it could not be accidentally turned on. This state can be achieved by holding down the power button for three seconds until a lock icon appears on the handle of the Shaver.
When changing from a device used regularly over a period of time, there are bound to be some minor niggles with a newer device. The Series 9000 Shaver was no exception. I could get use quickly to some niggles while other will take a little bit longer. My major complaint would be the lack of a stand for when the device is not in use. Philips has priced this model of the Series 9000 at £300 with the other model costing £60 more.
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